Rob Zombie Calls Making His Halloween Movies “A Miserable Experience”
If you’re one of those people — and I certainly am! — who strongly disliked Rob Zombie’s two entries into the Halloween franchise, you may or may not take some comfort in the knowledge that Rob had just as little fun making them as we did watching them.
The revelation comes from a new interview with Forbes. Although the topic of the discussion is mainly Zombie’s highly anticipated new movie, 3 from Hell, he does also delve into what an unpleasant time he had making Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009). Those films, you may or may not be aware, were produced by Dimension Films, which was the genre arm of Miramax and then, later, The Weinstein Company. In other words, the people signing the checks on those flicks were Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who were notorious for their creative interference even before Harvey turned out to be a complete monster (directors called the mogul “Harvey Scissorhands” behind his back).
Unfortunately for Rob, he had to learn about the duo’s “hands-on” work style firsthand, in the midst of actually producing his movies:
“Making ‘Halloween’ with the Weinsteins was a miserable experience for me, and so I was very reticent to do the second one. I did do the second one, and I thought, ‘Okay, well the first one was a miserable experience, but it did well, so maybe it’ll be easier the second time?’ It was worse. Oh my God. I felt like they weren’t trusting me on the first one because they wanted to make sure it was a hit and now they weren’t trusting me not to fuck up their hit.”
“They would show me scenes from ‘Halloween’ to try and make a point and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I know. I made that movie. Why do you show me that like I’ve never seen it before?’”
Zombie also reveals that a lot of this tumultuous behind-the-scenes mishegoss was actually captured on film… although we’ll likely never get to see it:
“We made a behind the scenes documentary for the making of ‘Halloween.’ That has somehow gotten lost in the vaults. That shows how messed up everything was and what was going on when we were making those movies.”
There actually is a feature-length “making of” documentary on the Halloween Blu-ray, but I’m guessing that’s a sanitized version that doesn’t show how bad things really got.
So does all of this off-screen drama explain why the resulting movies aren’t very good? Probably not — I think Zombie’s Halloween, for example, almost completely misses the reason John Carpenter’s original film is so great, and does so in such a way that suggests there were creative issues with the flick even without the Weinsteins meddling (the decision to make Michael Myers’ family abusive white trash, for example, has Zombie’s fingerprints all over it).
Still, the intrusion couldn’t have helped. Making a coherent movie, let alone a good one, is a minor miracle unto itself under the best of circumstances. Having Bobo and Li’l Debil up the director’s ass the whole time won’t make that shit any easier, that’s for sure.
You can read the entire interview here. 3 from Hell will be available on Blu-ray starting Tuesday, October 15. On Saturday, October 13, Zombie will be one of the headliners on the second day of the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, CA. Other bands on the bill include Slipknot, Tool, Korn, Marilyn Manson, and Lamb of God. Buy tickets here.